Jimmy Kimmel shared an update on his son Billy’s health after the infant underwent emergency heart surgery at just 3 days old in April.
“He’s doing great,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live host told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Thursday, August 10. “Young Billy just made his first visit to our office today. He’s juggling. He’s translating Flaubert from French into English. He’s really an amazing kid. No — he smiles. That’s pretty much it. He is very interested in ceiling fans. He likes those a lot. I could get him to pay the same amount for Netflix just to watch ceiling fans.”
Kimmel, 49, and his wife, Molly McNearney, welcomed Billy on April 21. Ten days later, he shared the news of Billy’s rare heart defect in a tearful 13-minute monologue on his ABC late-night show as the newborn recovered at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“He has to have two more open heart surgeries,” the comedian told THR. “We would like to get them over with and not have to think about it all the time, but it could definitely be worse.”
Leading up to his monologue, Kimmel knew he would get emotional. “It occurred to me that maybe we could make it into something positive,” he explained. “I had a lot of time to think at the hospital, and it just so happened that our government was deciding whether or not millions of people should have health care at the time. I think it made a big impact on American citizens. I’m not sure, based on how our so-called leaders voted, whether it made a big impact on the Senate or House.”
After Kimmel shared Billy’s story, former President Barack Obama reached out to him. “He sent a very nice letter. He wished us the best and thanked us for speaking,” Kimmel said.
Obama, 56, wasn’t the only politician to send his best wishes. “President [Bill] Clinton sent a letter. President [George W.] Bush sent a very nice letter. A number of congresspeople sent notes,” the late-night host told THR. “My goal always is to not make this a red or blue issue, because I don’t think it is.”
Kimmel hopes to have President Donald Trump, who didn’t reach out to the comedian after his emotional monologue, on his show one day. “I would love to talk to him about this,” Kimmel said. “I would like to see, as a father, and a person who prides himself on speaking the truth, what he thinks. If I were his next-door neighbor and I didn’t have health insurance for my child, I find it hard to believe he would ignore that.”